World Class Diversity Management

A Strategic Approach

Roosevelt Thomas (Author)

Publication date: 08/09/2010

World Class Diversity Management
  • Copublished with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

  • Advances the field by providing a unified framework and terminology and spelling out exactly what needs to be done to build world-class diversity management capability

  • Identifies optimal implementation approaches that can be used anywhere, anytime

With demographic shifts and globalization transforming the nature of relationships, interactions, and decision making, excellence in diversity management is more important than ever. However, the field of diversity has no established standard for evaluating what constitutes best practices, nor has there been any agreement on what the most fundamental philosophies, principles, and concepts are-until now. In this pioneering book R. Roosevelt Thomas, one of our most distinguished diversity theorists and practitioners, proposes a framework that will enable the development of a truly world-class diversity management capability. It was the development of such standards in manufacturing that enabled companies to strategically pursue excellence in this area.

A world-class approach to diversity management must be applicable anywhere in the world, be able to address any possible issue, facilitate comparison of different concepts and practices, and focus on the entire field of diversity rather than specific dimensions such as race or gender. These requirements are amply met by Thomas's Four Quadrant model and his Strategic Diversity Management Process„.

Thomas first analyzes each of four quadrants-managing workforce demographic representation, managing demographic relationships, managing diverse talent, and managing strategic mixtures-exploring the goals, motives, approaches, accomplishments, and challenges associated with each. And he reveals the unrecognized paradigm or mind-set that lies behind each quadrant's express purpose.

Once he has laid out the broad range of diversity management strategies, Thomas discusses how to realize them. He offers an overview of the Strategic Diversity Management Process-by far the most effective framework for implementation. He also examines the on-the-ground dynamics of implementing each of the strategies and their associated paradigms by incorporating a case study of a CEO, a composite of the many executives Thomas has worked with.

  • Copublished with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

  • Advances the field by providing a unified framework and terminology and spelling out exactly what needs to be done to build world-class diversity management capability

  • Identifies optimal implementation approaches that can be used anywhere, anytime

 

With demographic shifts and globalization transforming the nature of relationships, interactions, and decision making, excellence in diversity management is more important than ever. However, the field of diversity has no established standard for evaluating what constitutes best practices, nor has there been any agreement on what the most fundamental philosophies, principles, and concepts areuntil now. In this pioneering book R. Roosevelt Thomas, one of our most distinguished diversity theorists and practitioners, proposes a framework that will enable the development of a truly world-class diversity management capability. It was the development of such standards in manufacturing that enabled companies to strategically pursue excellence in this area.

A world-class approach to diversity management must be applicable anywhere in the world, be able to address any possible issue, facilitate comparison of different concepts and practices, and focus on the entire field of diversity rather than specific dimensions such as race or gender. These requirements are amply met by Thomass Four Quadrant model and his Strategic Diversity Management Process.

Thomas first analyzes each of four quadrantsmanaging workforce demographic representation, managing demographic relationships, managing diverse talent, and managing strategic mixturesexploring the goals, motives, approaches, accomplishments, and challenges associated with each. And he reveals the unrecognized paradigm or mind-set that lies behind each quadrants express purpose.

Once he has laid out the broad range of diversity management strategies, Thomas discusses how to realize them. He offers an overview of the Strategic Diversity Management Processby far the most effective framework for implementation. He also examines the on-the-ground dynamics of implementing each of the strategies and their associated paradigms by incorporating a case study of a CEO, a composite of the many executives Thomas has worked with.

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Overview

  • Copublished with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

  • Advances the field by providing a unified framework and terminology and spelling out exactly what needs to be done to build world-class diversity management capability

  • Identifies optimal implementation approaches that can be used anywhere, anytime

With demographic shifts and globalization transforming the nature of relationships, interactions, and decision making, excellence in diversity management is more important than ever. However, the field of diversity has no established standard for evaluating what constitutes best practices, nor has there been any agreement on what the most fundamental philosophies, principles, and concepts are-until now. In this pioneering book R. Roosevelt Thomas, one of our most distinguished diversity theorists and practitioners, proposes a framework that will enable the development of a truly world-class diversity management capability. It was the development of such standards in manufacturing that enabled companies to strategically pursue excellence in this area.

A world-class approach to diversity management must be applicable anywhere in the world, be able to address any possible issue, facilitate comparison of different concepts and practices, and focus on the entire field of diversity rather than specific dimensions such as race or gender. These requirements are amply met by Thomas's Four Quadrant model and his Strategic Diversity Management Process„.

Thomas first analyzes each of four quadrants-managing workforce demographic representation, managing demographic relationships, managing diverse talent, and managing strategic mixtures-exploring the goals, motives, approaches, accomplishments, and challenges associated with each. And he reveals the unrecognized paradigm or mind-set that lies behind each quadrant's express purpose.

Once he has laid out the broad range of diversity management strategies, Thomas discusses how to realize them. He offers an overview of the Strategic Diversity Management Process-by far the most effective framework for implementation. He also examines the on-the-ground dynamics of implementing each of the strategies and their associated paradigms by incorporating a case study of a CEO, a composite of the many executives Thomas has worked with.

  • Copublished with the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE)

  • Advances the field by providing a unified framework and terminology and spelling out exactly what needs to be done to build world-class diversity management capability

  • Identifies optimal implementation approaches that can be used anywhere, anytime

 

With demographic shifts and globalization transforming the nature of relationships, interactions, and decision making, excellence in diversity management is more important than ever. However, the field of diversity has no established standard for evaluating what constitutes best practices, nor has there been any agreement on what the most fundamental philosophies, principles, and concepts areuntil now. In this pioneering book R. Roosevelt Thomas, one of our most distinguished diversity theorists and practitioners, proposes a framework that will enable the development of a truly world-class diversity management capability. It was the development of such standards in manufacturing that enabled companies to strategically pursue excellence in this area.

A world-class approach to diversity management must be applicable anywhere in the world, be able to address any possible issue, facilitate comparison of different concepts and practices, and focus on the entire field of diversity rather than specific dimensions such as race or gender. These requirements are amply met by Thomass Four Quadrant model and his Strategic Diversity Management Process.

Thomas first analyzes each of four quadrantsmanaging workforce demographic representation, managing demographic relationships, managing diverse talent, and managing strategic mixturesexploring the goals, motives, approaches, accomplishments, and challenges associated with each. And he reveals the unrecognized paradigm or mind-set that lies behind each quadrants express purpose.

Once he has laid out the broad range of diversity management strategies, Thomas discusses how to realize them. He offers an overview of the Strategic Diversity Management Processby far the most effective framework for implementation. He also examines the on-the-ground dynamics of implementing each of the strategies and their associated paradigms by incorporating a case study of a CEO, a composite of the many executives Thomas has worked with.

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Roosevelt Thomas

R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr. is CEO of Roosevelt Thomas Consulting & Training, Inc., and is founder and senior research fellow of the American Institute for Managing Diversity. Recognized by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top ten consultants in the country and cited by Human Resource Executive as one of HR's Most Influential People, he is a sought-after speaker and the author of several books, including Building on the Promise of Diversity and Beyond Race and Gender.

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Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Part One: The Four Quadrants Model: Introduction

Chapter 1: Managing Workforce Representation

Chapter 2: Managing Workforce Relationships

Chapter 3: Managing Diverse Talent

Chapter 4: Managing All Strategic Diversity Mixtures

Part Two: Operationalization

Chapter 5: Strategic Diversity Management Process

Chapter 6: Managing Complexity

Chapter 7: The Dynamics of Strategies and Paradigms

Part Three: Application

Chapter 8: Jeff Kilt

Chapter 9: Relections of Jeff Kilt

Closing Thoughts

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Excerpt

World Class Diversity Management

INTRODUCTION

As I begin this introduction, I have been reflecting on previous situations where I have seen accelerated learning and growth through quality dialogue. The situations have been varied, but they have shared one characteristic: Before the discussion began, time was taken to establish a context for the discussion. Often that time was used to establish agreed-upon definitions.

Given the wide variety of perspectives on “diversity” and my experience in working with senior organizational leaders, I propose that we seek some common ground around definitions—if only for the purpose of discussion. Toward this end, I offer a set of definitions for the diversity-related terms that I have used throughout the book.

BASIC DEFINITIONS

Below are definitions that will make the reading of the book more enjoyable and profitable:

Diversity— the differences and similarities, and related tensions and complexities, that can characterize mixtures of any kind. When you speak of diversity, you are describing a characteristic of a collection or mixture of some kind, such as employees, customers, vendors, functions, organizational participants in an acquisition or merger, citizens, family members, or congregants in a religious setting.

This means that when you talk of a group’s diversity, you have to specify the dimension. In the United States, when someone says a group is “diverse,” he typically means with respect to race, gender, or ethnicity. In reality, the dimension possibilities are enormous, thus the need to specify.

In addition, with diversity (differences and similarities) come tensions and complexities. The greater the diversity, the greater the likelihood of tension and complexity.

Diversity tension— the stress and strain that come from the interaction and clashing of differences and similarities.

Complexity— that which makes something difficult to explain.

Diversity management— the ability to make quality decisions in the midst of any set of differences and similarities and related tensions and complexities.

Complexity management— the ability to make quality decisions in the midst of factors that make something difficult to explain.

Capability— the wherewithal to think through diversity issues of any kind in pursuit of quality decisions that support an entity’s overarching objectives. A critical assumption is that the individual or organization (represented by its leaders and managers) can be the actor.

Achieving this wherewithal requires understanding and operationalizing concepts, principles, theories, and paradigms; developing and mastering skills and competencies; and sustaining a high level of craftsmanship through continuous learning and introspection.

WORLD-CLASS DIVERSITY MANAGEMENT

Defined

Practicing World-Class Diversity Management means operating at a level that is the best in the world with respect to diversity management. At a minimum, it suggests the use of state-of-the-art strategies and approaches for addressing any diversity issue in any setting in any geographical location.

Achieving this status doesn’t require an enterprise to operate beyond its country’s borders. It might practice diversity management at a world-class level within its community, state, regional, or national boundaries. The determining factor would be that the quality of its practices cannot be beaten anywhere in the world.

Consider the realm of baseball. The “World Champion” New York Yankees may never play a team from outside the United States; yet, because of their understanding—rightly or not—that United States baseball is the best in the world, they can claim that winning the World Series entitles them to say, “We are world champions.” As the quality of professional baseball outside the United States grows in perceived excellence, World Series winners will not be able to claim “We are the best in the world” without engaging in some competition to prove that point.

With respect to diversity management, we still have to define the game and then determine what it means to play at a world-class level. To date, practitioners and managers have expressed relatively little interest in establishing and pursuing the standards that would allow us to do that.

Writing on the meaning of World-Class Diversity Management has brought to mind my first encounter with World-Class Manufacturing and Total Quality Management (TQM) in the mid-eighties, when the emphasis was on achieving world-class status in manufacturing. One of our first diversity clients placed great stock in being world class. The company viewed world class as the gold standard against which any self-respecting manufacturing organization must mea sure itself. As this company expanded its global manufacturing operations, its managers found that being competitive required familiarity with the best philosophies and practices of TQM and other manufacturing philosophies and tools. This was true for other corporations with global operations and for some with domestic sites only.

This reality led our client to send groups of its managers to attend seminars on different manufacturing approaches, to visit the sites of enterprises that advocated innovative strategies, to invite leading practitioners to tour and assess their facilities, and to devour books on various methodologies—TQM and others. Our clients and other corporations did make significant progress toward world-class status and touted that progress widely internally and externally.

As we began our diversity management work with the organization, its representatives told us that they wanted to be world class in diversity as well as in manufacturing. Given the embryonic nature of diversity at that time, we could not guarantee that our offer was world class. We were comfortable, however, in saying that our approach had the potential to become world class. We also gained credibility by relating our diversity approach to the company’s World-Class Manufacturing practices and philosophies.

My point here is that being world class had become a way of life for our clients wherever they operated a manufacturing facility in the world. As these manufacturing managers interacted with global functions, they often cited manufacturing philosophies and principles. The notion of world class had become ingrained in them.

The diversity field has not progressed to this point. We in the field have neither established what world class is nor specified how it might be achieved. Further, we lack agreement on our most fundamental philosophies, principles, and concepts, as well as consensus as to what best practices are. Indeed, it is not clear that we want to be world class. Some feeling exists that because the field is diversity, practitioners should be diverse (fragmented) in their thinking.

Requirements

Several elements must be in place if we are to establish and achieve world-class status in the diversity arena. These include the following:

Universal philosophies. We must have sets of universal theories, principles, concepts, and frameworks that can be applied to any type of diversity mixture at any geographic location. Aspirants to world-class stature need universal tools as a basis for world capability and applicability. Such tools are not currently readily available in the diversity arena. This book is intended to be a step toward filling that gap.

An approach that fosters ease of comparison, discussion, and analysis across the globe. This data gathering capability will be key to establishing the meaning of World-Class Diversity Management. Diversity means different things to people in different countries. This can be a major barrier to efforts to identify and understand different diversity management philosophies, unless there are a framework and process that fosters global dialogue and affirms and enhances world perspectives.

An approach that fosters awareness and understanding of the field of diversity and not just its individual dimensions. If practitioners are to understand and address the diverse dimension (race, ethnicity, gender, etc.) priorities around the world, they must possess familiarity and competency with diversity per se. That is, they must have access to both individual and collective perspectives. Without that access, they must develop an expertise for each possible dimension. While doable, this can become onerous. A framework with universal and transferable concepts and principles that apply to all dimensions provides a head start with any given issue, by eliminating the need to begin from ground zero in each instance. Most efforts designated as diversity focus on the workforce. That limits the capability to deal with any type of diversity issue.

An approach grounded in a universal process for addressing any diversity issue. Given the multiplicity of approaches to diversity around the globe, world-class status requires a process that can be adapted to any approach and used with any mixture.

Infrastructures to foster the establishment and pursuit of world-class standards. For example, the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Awards program fosters excellence in TQM, while within organizations, entire departments and task forces often are dedicated to the achievement of World-Class Manufacturing.

Obstacles

My initial personal reaction to the notion of world class reflects some of the obstacles. Four in particular merit mention:

1. Lack of professionalization and rationalization. This lack impedes the development of universal frameworks and significant consensus among practitioners. Organizations, practitioners, managers, and individual contributors are struggling to make sense of diversity. Some are so confused that they want to discard the notion. Others have institutionalized diversity into increasingly meaningless rituals. Many organizations are seeking ways to relaunch, reboot, or otherwise rejuvenate their diversity efforts.

While some want to dismiss the idea of diversity, most organizations and communities still struggle explicitly or implicitly with the notion. So there are practical reasons to sort through the ambiguity.

As part of the effort to make sense of diversity, internal and external practitioners are searching for new frameworks. For some, this is a desperate search that leads them to embrace any semantic change that might reflect a substantive modification in approach. Their search would be aided by a rationalized perspective of the diversity field, which would provide a context for assessing the fit between organizational needs and a particular framework—and therefore for assessing its likelihood of success. This would also set the stage for establishing world-class standards.

2. Inability to focus on the big picture—to see the forest as well as the trees. The individual dimensions—race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, thought, globalism, political, functional, or generational—consume the attention and time of many organizations, which emphasize them one at a time and seek practitioners and con sul tants with expertise in the priority of the moment. Rarely do organizations or community leaders focus on learning about diversity as a field. Instead, they continue to reinvent the wheel as they move from dimension to dimension. This mindset and corresponding behaviors hamper the establishment of a world-class standard.

3. Lack of discipline. Inattention to sets of widely accepted, well-defined philosophies, theories, and practices that apply to the whole field of diversity has hampered discussion among those in the field. Developing the field as a discipline will require focusing on the forest and the trees.

4. Lack of face validity. With World-Class Manufacturing, face validity as a legitimate discipline and organizational function has not been an issue. Lack of face validity for diversity, however, has been most apparent in today’s recessionary economic times. People frequently ask me, “Are companies still engaged with diversity?” Among those people are some who never believed corporations were serious about diversity and therefore never had expectations that diversity training would endure. Some observers note how well they are getting along now and express surprise that diversity is still needed. Others suggest that since the United States has elected an African American as president, the country no longer needs diversity work. And still others declare, “Given that we have been ‘doing diversity’ for so many years, surely we can relax now and move on to something else.” The common theme is that diversity lacks face validity and, therefore, has a tentative status and will soon disappear—if it has not already done so.

5. Seeing diversity as a problem to be solved and then removing it from the “to do” list. This perspective contributes to a lack of face validity for diversity and also to the view that an intervention with a beginning and an end is needed—as opposed to the need to build and maintain a capability to cope with issues around differences and similarities on an ongoing basis.

6. Leaders confusing their personal beliefs and behaviors with those of their organizations. This confusion can make it difficult to realize and address collective realities regarding their enterprises.

Potential Benefits

In light of so many obstacles, why is now a good time to pursue World-Class Diversity Management?

One major benefit would be the enhancement of global competitiveness. As globalization increases, few enterprises anywhere in the world—regional, national, or international—will be immune to global competition. To return to the earlier baseball analogy, the more teams around the world play the game, the more U.S. teams must become competitive within national and international boundaries. Enterprises must expand their focus if they aspire to become world class.

A second benefit would be greater organizational consistency across the nation and the globe. Globalization demands that we make sense of diversity and think in terms of world philosophies and practices. Yet there is little consistency with respect to diversity across national boundaries. For example, U.S.-based global corporations are finding that other countries resist American-style diversity activities—rightly or wrongly—on the grounds that they do not have the same issues as those related to America’s history of slavery and race relations. These companies do understand the need for consistency between global and domestic diversity thrusts, however, if they are to demonstrate commitment to diversity and also achieve efficiency and effectiveness with their efforts. A rationalized world perspective of the field would facilitate such consistency.

Without understanding the forest (the whole) of diversity, organizational diversity leaders treat their domestic and international arenas as two unrelated trees (dimensions). Chief diversity officers sometimes say with pride, “We are doing global diversity now.” An implication is that “global” is better and represents a move to the next level, that the domestic issues have been mastered. A rationalized perspective would encourage integration of the two arenas within the context of the diversity forest.

A further benefit of developing a World-Class Diversity Management concept is that it would free organizations and individuals from their current imprisonment by domestic diversity paradigms (mindsets). The resulting in de pen dence of thought would help organizations to move toward the next level with their diversity management efforts.

For some time, I have known about the impact of paradigms on the behavior of individuals and organizations and their ability to greatly inhibit change. However, a recent personal experience heightened my understanding of this phenomenon.

I found myself in the new Jacksonville, Florida, airport. As I prepared to wash my hands and exit the men’s room, I noticed there were no wash basins; instead, a marble slab under faucets with a drain at the back of the flat surface served the function of the bowls. As you wash your hands, water runs down on the marble slab and flows backward to the drain.

At first, it took me a minute to be clear that I had not walked by the wash basins—to realize that what I saw was a new approach to hand washing. Several questions flashed through my mind: “What is this?” “Why did they do this?” “Is it more sanitary?” “Is this more cost effective?” “More green?” “Why?!” “What was wrong with the way it was?”

For that moment, I was in paradigm shock. My paradigm for airport washrooms collided with the reality of the new arrangement in the Jacksonville airport, and for a moment the collision immobilized me. If I had had the option of a traditional arrangement, I have no doubt that I would have chosen it.

Individuals and organizations can be imprisoned by their domestic diversity paradigms in much the same way. For example, U.S.-based corporations tend to focus on workforce diversity from the perspective of the civil rights movement. Going global has forced many to rethink their diversity paradigm and to broaden their perspective. Outside the United States, enterprises tend to be adamant that they do not share the United States’ issues.

Not long ago, I made a presentation in England. The client requested that I arrive early so that I might be oriented. Our orientation meeting began with me talking about my approach to diversity with respect to acquisitions, nationalities, products, and functions. When I had finished, I asked what I needed to know for my presentation. “You’re fine,” the client’s representatives replied. They simply had wanted to be sure I had not come with a way of thinking about diversity that was at odds with their thinking; in particular, they did not want me to bring a race and gender perspective that they considered to be peculiar to the United States. My model and its assumption of a global application to any diversity issue appeared attractive to them.

As United States managers bump into other diversity paradigms in pursuit of world-class standards, the result hopefully will be an increase in innovation and movement toward the next level.

A related benefit to being freed from paradigm imprisonment would be a greater readiness for addressing the forest of diversity. Some individuals are so constrained by their dominant paradigm that they can only see their pet dimension and fear that any focus on the forest would diminish attention for their favorite diversity issue. Others are not even aware of the forest. Clearly, for these individuals, any release from their dominant paradigm would greatly enhance their capability to be productive with other dimensions in the forest.

The development of World-Class Diversity Management would facilitate talent management. In a real sense, we are circling back to where we were years ago—talking about the need to get the most from diverse human resources in organizations and communities. About twenty-five years ago, in the wake of the Hudson Institute’s Workforce 2000 report, pioneers in the diversity arena advocated the importance of preparing to manage an increasingly diverse workforce. Now, incredibly, it’s possible to engage in discussions and read books about talent management with barely a mention of diversity. Against this backdrop, proponents of world-class diversity can enhance understanding of the importance of taking diversity into account when tapping the potential of a diverse pool of talent, and simultaneously secure a platform for furthering their rationalization agenda. While this reminder might seem unnecessary, apparently, it is. The reality of global talent pools calls for thinking in terms of worldwide best practices in diversity management.

The pursuit of World-Class Diversity Management at this time would take advantage of a growing implicit and explicit awareness of diversity beyond race, gender, and ethnicity in the workforce. President Barack Obama’s selection of members for his National Economic Council provided an example of implicit awareness of diversity. The president wanted representation of different schools of thought on the council, in hopes that the variety would better generate solutions for the country’s complex economic challenges. Most agreed with him but worried that a group of competent, confident, and assertive people with various views might degenerate into dysfunctional chaos. The implicit concern was that the group might not be able to manage their thought diversity.

With its emphasis on the diversity forest, World-Class Diversity Management would enhance the ability of individuals, organizations and communities to deal with dimensions other than race, gender and ethnicity. Achieving World-Class status would be especially helpful in situations involving diversity of thought.

Finally, taking action now would permit the leveraging of a growing desire for more professionalization and rationalization. For some, this desire is fueled by a perceived decline in the field’s status. For others, it comes from a feeling of “being stuck.” For still others, the per sis tence of ongoing diversity challenges creates an urgency to move on to the next level. What ever the specific reason, the reality is clear. We must move forward as a rationalized professional field.

THIS BOOK

Overall Purpose

In spite of the diversity field’s many problems and the belief by many that it is premature to discuss World-Class Diversity Management, the overall purpose of this book is to demonstrate that it is possible to establish and pursue world-class standards. I believe that the Strategic Diversity Management Process (SDMP) and the Four Quadrants Model that form the core of this book meet the requirements for achieving world-class status:

• a framework that can be applied universally

• an approach that allows for ease of comparison, discussion, and analysis across the globe

• an approach that fosters awareness and understanding of the field of diversity and not just its individual dimensions

• an approach grounded in a universal process for addressing any diversity issue

The SDMP provides a set of universal definitions and a decision-making process that can be used with any approach, while the four quadrants collectively offer core diversity management strategies that can be used with any diversity mixture. Together, they provide the wherewithal for establishing and pursuing global standards in diversity.

Content and Organization

Figure 1-1 captures the book’s content. “World-Class Diversity Management” is positioned at the top of the figure because that is the focus of the book and where this introduction began. The vertical arrows represent the four quadrants, or core diversity management strategies, presented in part I, chapters 14. They are the paths to world-class status. The strategies are as follows:

1. Managing workforce representation. The focus is on attaining the desired numerical workforce profile with respect to race, gender, ethnicity, and other selected demographic dimensions.

image

FIGURE 1-1. Building World-Class Diversity Management Capability

2. Managing workforce demographic relationships. The focus is on achieving and maintaining harmonious relationships.

3. Managing diverse talent. The focus is on creating an environment that enables leaders and managers to access talent however it comes packaged in terms of race, gender, and ethnicity.

4. Managing all strategic diversity mixtures. The focus is on developing a capability to make quality decisions in the midst of any type of strategic diversity mixture.

These four strategies serve the organization’s overarching mission, vision, and strategy, which determine its diversity management aspirations. The words “A Strategic Approach” in the title of this book suggest that the way an organization applies its world-class capability will be a function of its overall strategy.

The horizontal bar beneath the arrows in figure 1-1 reflects the paradigms that undergird the strategies. Each diversity paradigm predisposes individuals and organizations to one of the core diversity management strategies. The four paradigms are as follows:

1. Make amends for past wrongs. The focus is on compensating oppressed or disadvantaged groups for past injustices against them. Proponents of this paradigm are predisposed to Managing Workforce Representation.

2. Apply the Golden Rule. The focus is on pursuing harmony and achieving peaceful coexistence among groups. Proponents of this paradigm are predisposed to managing workforce demographic relationships.

3. Maximize individual engagement. The focus is on integrating the talent in the organization and maximizing the engagement of participants in an entity. Proponents of this paradigm are predisposed to Managing Diverse Talent.

4. Maximize stakeholder engagement. The focus is on engaging stakeholders by making quality decisions in the midst of all kinds of diversity. Proponents of this paradigm are predisposed to managing strategic diversity mixtures.

Next figure 1-1 reflects the content of part II, chapters 57. These chapters discuss the key enabling competencies that must be mastered to make possible the implementation (actualization) of the core diversity management strategies: the Strategic Diversity Management Process, the management of complexity, and the management of strategy and paradigm dynamics.

Part III of the book, chapters 89, focuses on the application of the various components in the interest of building World-Class Diversity Management capability and taking diversity management to the next level in a corporation. Included here is the composite case study of Jeff Kilt.

My hope is that figure 1-1, when combined with an understanding of two other aspects of the book’s organization, will allow the reader to easily navigate the discussions that follow, even though that may require negotiating some unfamiliar territory. The two other aspects of the book’s organization are:

1. Discussion of the diversity management strategies from an evolutionary perspective. I take this approach in hopes of highlighting how the dynamics of diversity and diversity management have developed over the years.

2. A focus on the United States. I use this focus in an effort to keep the scope of the book manageable, not to minimize diversity work and its evolution in other countries. I also have selected this focus because of my belief that in the United States, diversity and diversity management practices flow from a peculiar legacy of slavery, oppression, civil rights, and social justice. Hopefully, observers familiar with diversity work in other geographical locations will provide an accounting that can be compared to what I report for the United States.

World-Class Diversity Management in Action

As readers move through the book, the principal attributes of World-Class Diversity Management in action will become clearer. At this junction, I offer a glimpse of what might be involved.

As figure 1-1 denotes, organizational participants with World-Class Diversity Management capability would be using the four quadrants and would be capable of addressing workforce diversity and all other strategic diversity mixtures. Similarly, individuals would be capable of managing all diversity mixtures critical to their personal well-being—whether at work, at home, or in the community.

To be able to use the Four Quadrants Model, people individually and collectively would have accomplished the following:

• Developed skill and competency in applying the SDMP in all four quadrants. This is absolutely essential for effective decision making in each area.

• Developed skill and competency in managing complexity. Since diversity generates complexity, working through related complexities becomes a prerequisite for diversity management.

• Developed skill and competency in managing core strategy and paradigm dynamics. To use each core strategy to the appropriate degree, individuals and organizations will need sufficient paradigm flexibility to move among the quadrants. Inflexibility will mean rigid adherence to a core strategy even when using it is dysfunctional.

Overarching this activity would be an ongoing effort to build and maintain sustainable capability. Diversity management would be seen as a tool to be accessed as needed, not as a problem to be solved and pushed aside. Continuous learning and improvement would be paramount considerations.

Audiences

My hope is that this book will engage a number of diverse audiences. Its primary intended audience is CEOs, CDOs, and other senior-level general managers who want to know how diversity management can help in ratcheting up their efforts to achieve workforce diversity. Leaders seeking guidance as to how diversity management can be applied to other managerial issues—such as customer relations, acquisitions and mergers, headquarters and field relations, functional synergy, and innovations—will also find this book useful. In particular, the notions of craft and capability should be of interest. Overall, the book should enhance leaders’ ability to develop and implement diversity strategies for their organizations.

Why senior-level leaders? Writing primarily for senior-level leaders highlights that for me diversity management is not an end in and of itself, but, ultimately, a means of achieving the overall mission and objectives of an enterprise, responsibilities that fall under the direct purview of senior executives. Also, some of my most productive experiences as a con sul tant have been working with senior executives who understood diversity management and took care to be operationally involved. As a result, I am convinced that senior management engagement is essential to optimal results.

The book’s secondary intended audience is diversity professionals, HR leaders, academicians, Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) officials, and policy makers:

Diversity professionals. This book can serve as a primer for individuals new to the field. It can serve as a context for experienced professionals deciding how to “move to the next level” and for rationalizing diversity efforts across dimensions and locations.

HR leaders. The benefits for diversity professionals apply for HR practitioners, as well. Additionally, the book can foster an enhanced understanding of the differences between diversity management and human resources and provide clarity about how the two fields can complement each other. For example, the book might serve as a reminder of how diversity management can support talent management and help to clarify that diversity management is not an “HR function.”

Academicians. Professors who offer an overview of the diversity field should find the book invaluable. In addition, academicians focused on the study and research of diversity in organizations and communities will find that the book provides a framework for mapping new lines of inquiry to advance the field.

EEO officials. The book should foster understanding of how the efforts of EEO officials can coexist or even mesh with diversity efforts. In a very real sense, as the book differentiates among the trees in the forest of diversity, it should affirm the legitimacy of the EEO function.

Policy makers. As political leaders move to diminish dysfunctional divisiveness within the country, policy makers will become more aware of the importance of managing diversity. This, in turn, should increase their desire to learn more about the field. Even experienced policy makers should find the book a useful primer to inform their thinking and deliberations about diversity-related options.

The intended audiences constitute a diverse set of groups. Some have said that this audience diversity presents a significant writing challenge, as the various groups are likely to have different criteria for judging a book as useful. I agree. The intended audiences do have different perspectives, requirements, and preferences, and the writing has been a challenge. Still, individuals within each group share a commonality: a desire to engage in thoughtful dialogue about diversity. It is for these people that the book has been written.

TIPS FOR THE READER

Six tips will help to make reading this book more enjoyable and profitable:

1. Read the book from the perspective of a craftsperson sharpening his capabilities. Read not for solutions, but rather for frameworks and processes that might be used to generate solutions.

2. Think of the book as presenting the “big picture,” as a “survey exploration” on diversity. As any good exploration does, the book will provide a useful way to organize the field. Readers may leave the book wishing more had been said about a given topic, or more had been drawn from certain fields or academic research. In addition, the book’s focus on the forest (or whole) of diversity means that individuals’ pet dimensions may be covered only to a limited extent—if at all. Similarly, “hot” diversity topics of the day may not be included. My expectation is that greater awareness of the diversity forest and its dynamics will enhance the reader’s ability to deal with the trees (dimensions) of their choice.

3. Read the book with an eye toward determining what is useful, not what is “right or wrong.” My intent is to provide frameworks that can be used for understanding, organizing, and generating solutions and action planning with respect to diversity management, rather than presenting evaluative critiques of different strategies and approaches.

4. Keep in mind the evolutionary perspective of the book with respect to the core diversity management strategies. This calls for a discussion of historical context. These discussions are presented not for the sake of history, but for the sake of context. Some of these historical discussions will revolve around issues of civil rights, social justice, and human rights, territory with which many readers are familiar. You will take more from the book by reading for context with respect to each diversity management strategy rather than presuming the material is typical of such discussion.

5. Remember that the book is not a review of the academic literature on diversity, but rather one person’s reasoning as to what would constitute world class in the field and how that status might be achieved. Although there is substantial and significant diversity academic literature, a review of that literature is beyond the scope of this book. At some point, it would be beneficial to see if a review of the academic literature might lead to similar or different reasoning and projections about World-Class Diversity Management.

6. Although the book is not about “global diversity” as usually discussed, its “universal” projections apply globally. Because I begin my survey with the evolution of diversity in the United States, it might seem as if my universals apply only to the United States. But I don’t think that’s true. I believe that if another writer were to conduct a survey beginning with the early diversity practices of a different country or set of countries, her universals would be congruent with those coming from this book. I base my belief on the reasoning that unfolds in this book and on my personal exposure to diversity work in other countries. (That is another project that might be beneficial at some point.)

In summary, my intent is that the book will promote the development of a diversity management capability that can be applied to diversity forests anywhere in the world. My hope is that realization of this intent will advance the field’s credibility as a global influence.

Discussion

Interestingly, as the book has evolved, I have found myself projecting paths to world-class status not only for individuals and organizations, but for the field of diversity, as well. This, for me, has been an exciting undertaking.

My hope is that the reader will relate some of the many insights I gleaned in writing this book to his own experience and, like me, become more optimistic—indeed, inspired—about the field’s future and possibilities. Neither my own nor the reader’s optimism will prevent false starts and challenges. Still, the opportunities for contribution are great. I hope that in a small, but significant way this book will encourage the craftsmanship and capability that will be required.

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Endorsements

“The most important work in the field of diversity that I have read in recent years. It displays amazing insight into the challenges of the current state of managing diversity yet ignites the imagination about what is truly possible. A must-read book for every CEO, senior leader and professional practitioner of diversity in any industry."
—Frederick D. Hobby, President, Institute for Diversity in Health Management, American Hospital Association

“This is an indispensable book for any leader or talent management professional who wants to support the progress of a diversity initiative. Dr. Thomas has spent a lifetime providing us with models that have refined and extended our thinking.”
—Beverly Kaye, founder and CEO, Career Systems International, and coauthor of Love ‘Em or Lose ‘Em and Love It, Don't Leave It

“Dr. Thomas is a true pioneer in the field of strategic diversity management. This book is a continuation and extension of his decades-long legacy of thought leadership. His insights and approach are a targeted guide to what's needed to thrive in the future and allow all of us— organizations and individuals—to reach our full potential.”
—Mike Prokopeak, Vice President and Editorial Director, MediaTec, publisher of Diversity Executive, Talent Management, and Chief Learning Officer

“The trials, tribulations, and opportunities facing fictional CEO Jeff Kilt in the latter part of the book sound all too familiar! Kilt is a composite of many well-intentioned leaders who lack a framework or process to achieve world-class status—a case study on the shortcomings of good intentions alone. For those who have wondered what's next in the field of strategic diversity management, this guide is it.”
 —David L. Casey, Vice President and Diversity Officer, CVS Caremark

“Roosevelt Thomas stimulates the reader with a compelling conceptualization, authentic examples, and thought-provoking analogies, such as how changing an organizational culture is comparable to changing an individual's personality.”
—David A. Kravitz, Professor and Management Area Chair, School of Management, George Mason University

“This important book provides fresh insights and a strategic process that will assist governments and market-based leadership in developing national diversity policies and strategies.”
—Robert L. Lattimer, Senior Fellow, Diversity Studies, Rutgers University

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